Motive fuel, maybe

One of the hair-pullers of replacing gasoline is that almost all the alternatives (nuke, wind, solar) are essentially fixed plant solutions.  And while that’s a big deal in many respects, one of the critical factors underlying our economic structure is mobility.  You can’t move a car with a wind generator.

Most of the proposed solutions (besides hyper increase of efficiency) fall into three categories:  electricity, fuel cell, and ‘theoretically’.  Today’s look is at a particular electricity option.

I’ve said for a year or two now that the big stopper for electric cars was batteries.  More precisely, long term storage of electricity intended for controlled release.  The two weaknesses are energy density and speed of recharge.

Enter EESU from EEStore.  They don’t build a battery, they build a capacitor.  They CLAIM – big emphasis there – an energy capacity of 1MJ/kg.  For quick comparison, lithium batteries run ~.5-.7 MJ/kg.  Still not gasoline (theoretical 54 MJ/kg, practical application ~12 MJ/kg), but impressive nonetheless.  Especially since it allows fast recharge – with high-power source, a 52 kWh system can be recharged in 5 minutes.  Again in comparison, you can’t do that with lithium, you’d pretty well blow up the battery.  At least, unless one of the theoretical models works.

Basically, this box, at ~335 lbs (152 kg) and ~2000 cubic inches (33 liters) would move a ~1800 lb gross weight vehicle and load 250-300 miles at highway speed (up to 80 mph).

Why am I using those numbers? Because a car manufacturer is using them.  And because Lockheed agrees with the numbers.

Now the truth is that this box hasn’t been put out for public examination.  and there are critics who say that by related info it can’t possibly do that  But…  it is going into production.  And two companies are buying them.

My bet is it’s not quite as good as advertised, but it’s probably working nonetheless.

Which means – provided it does as advertised – we’ll see more of them produced over the next few years.  And it may be our motive power for both runabouts and short-range work vehicles.

Maybe.  Because there are alternatives, and some of those have pretty good numbers as well.  I’ll be getting to them eventually.

I wouldn’t buy stock in EEstore today unless I had some money that could sit for half a decade without results, and if lost didn’t matter.  If i was a speculator, though, I’d be taking a good hard look.  Because there are other advantages to a good battery even if other options work better for motive power.  For example, storing the energy from solar…

Interesting times.

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